Monday, November 27, 2006

Airborne House!!

That Old House is up in the air! Mr. Nola here, and I guess I brought this upon myself. A few well-intentioned updates to Nola's blog and suddenly EVERYTHING happens at once. It's been almost a year since we told the foundation guys that we wanted to save the house, which meant lifting. We started hearing rumors of "two weeks" back in April, and "any day now" promises such as this one ever since.

Frankly, I did not believe it when I was told that a crew was going to drop off lifting jacks over the weekend... we had heard this before and it never came to fruition. But I am astonished over how much happened in the course of three days. The entire lift happened while I was at work-- about eight feet in less than six hours, so I missed the whole thing. I'm told that the lifting process was slow enough to be imperceptible, something along the lines of 15 minutes per foot, pausing between each lift to reset the equipment and supports. Neighbors didn't report any cracking nor crashing sounds, and the proof of the result is in the pictures. Not a lot of advance notice, but we FINALLY have something to show for all this waiting.

Unfortunately the time-lapse photos did not work out as planned, so there will be no movie to post. There are a bunch of pics taken at various points of the lift over on Flickr.

This was apparently a very big deal to more than just us. Despite the shoring contractors having been in the business for six generations, most of Boudreaux's family (including Mama and Papa Boudreaux) came out to witness the lift in progress. Now that TOH is in mid-air, it has more people snapping it's picture than Lindsay Lohan's boobs. The former owners, on vacation at the time of the lift, received no less than four phone urgent calls regarding "what happened to their house." I even saw a fender-bender caused by a pair of rubbernecking gawkers who were more interested in our airborne house than the road - I really thought that New Orleans had seen it all by now, but it's good to know that total strangers share our excitement.

This is probably one of the points where work seems to grind to a halt, but the timing could be worse. The old foundation needs to be ripped out before the new one can be poured, and then the concrete must harden for a few weeks before anything should be built on top of it. Each of these milestones comes with an invoice, and we still need to come up with a *huge* wad of cash for the work that was already done in the last week. Even though we're approved, the funding sources need to move money from their control into ours. This takes time, but our contractors want to be paid about as much as I want to keep them working at a good clip.


At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Mei said...

Hey, the house looks really good! It's so scary when they raise a house, but it looks like they are doing a good job on yours. Is it a plaster interior? If so expect some new cracks.

At 9:00 AM, Blogger King of Kentville said...

I laughed when I read the part about the former owners getting urgent phone calls... Apparently our former owner (who is 102 or so and still alive) got a letter from one of the ladies in the area telling him we had ripped out all of his roses and threw them in the garbage! Our next door neighbour set him straight, and told him that we had just moved them to a new home in a different part of the yard. :-)

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Crowleigh said...

I think I've got you beat by a couple of inches ;-) I went up just under 9 ft.

That's a lot of work you've committed to by lifting the house. But I know in my case that it will be well worth it.


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